What goes in my bins

Wrong items in your bin

When the wrong items or non-recyclable items are placed in your bin, we refer to this as contamination.

Wrong items and recycling contamination includes items such as:

  • takeaway pizza boxes, cardboard takeaway food or drink containers
  • general household waste
  • black bags, plastic carrier bags, plastic film, plastic wrappers
  • books (these can be taken to your local charity shop)
  • electrical items (these can be recycled at your local bring bank)
  • clothing (this can be taken to your local charity shop or bring bank)
  • nappies
  • used tissues
  • polystyrene
  • food
  • plastic children's toys (if they can still be used, give them to a friend or your local charity shop)
  • heavy metal items
  • rubble, stone, soil
  • liquids including paint and oils
  • gas/helium canisters (you can take them to a household waste recycling centre)
  • hazardous waste
  • shredded paper
  • milk and juice cartons (you can take them to a household waste recycling centre).

If non-recyclable items such as general rubbish, plastic bags, nappies, building materials are put in the red recycling bin it will be classed as 'contaminated'.

If any non-compostable waste (eg plastic, metals) are put in the green bin it will be classed as 'contaminated'.

Our crews regularly check the red recycling bins to make sure they are free from non-recyclable items, known as contaminants, before emptying it.

What happens if you put wrong items in your bin?

If your red or green bin is put out for collection containing notable amounts of wrong items, it will not be emptied. This is to prevent the contamination of the whole vehicle load, which could result in it being rejected for recycling and diverted to landfill.

Where the bin has not been collected because there are wrong items in it, a crew member will log a contamination report and leave a contamination sticker on the bin informing what can be recycled. You will then receive a follow up letter, notifying why the bin was left along with information on recycling.

A “three strikes” policy will be implemented whereby red bins are removed from households that contaminate bins on three occasions and fail to respond to advice.


  1. Take out the wrong items from your bin; correctly dispose.
  2. Remove the contamination sticker from your bin.
  3. Re-present your bin on the next relevant collection day.